Actors Still Working Amid Writers and Actors Strike: What’s Going On?

The Ongoing Hollywood Writers and Actors Strike: What’s Happening?

Writers and Actors Strike

Introduction

The writers and actors strike is still ongoing, and it doesn’t seem like it will end anytime soon. It’s certainly rough for all those on strike who are not working as they normally would. However, not everybody in Hollywood has completely stopped working. A few actors here and there are still working on individual projects and then promoting them. So just what’s going on?

Jessica Chastain and the Venice Film Festival

Jessica Chastain is one of those actors who is currently working. She attended the Venice Film Festival on behalf of her new film Memory. This is something she is allowed to do because the independent studios that produced the movie signed an interim agreement with SAG in which theory agreed to everything SAG-AFTRA is asking for during the current strike.

Jessica Chastain’s Explanation

Chastain explains the situation using a baseball analogy. She likens the major studios to the Major Leagues and the independent productions to the Minor Leagues. The Major Leagues’ players are unhappy with their contracts and decide to strike. The Minor Leagues step in and offer them the contracts they want. As a result, the players choose to work for the Minor Leagues instead of the Major Leagues. This shift in audience preference weakens the power of the Major Leagues.

The Primary Organization and Independent Studios

The primary organization that SAG-AFTRA is negotiating with is the AMPTP, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, but the members of that group are all major studios. Even if the union and the AMPTP came to a deal, the union would still need to negotiate with independent studios. In some cases, the independent studios have agreed to give the actors what they want.

Potential Repercussions

If actors want to work, they’ll go where the work is, which means smaller studios who are willing to provide what the union wants could actually end up benefitting from the strike. We could get to a point where those are the only movies coming out if the strike goes on long enough. And if smaller studios are able to give actors what they want, it might put pressure on the larger ones to do the same. That’s certainly the hope. Adam Driver has also recently promoted a film under the same sort of agreement.

Still a Long Way to Go

Even among smaller studio projects, these deals are the exception more than the rule. There’s a lot of work yet to be done, and it certainly doesn’t look like the larger studios are in a hurry to make a deal with actors because a few of these interim agreements are in place.

The Impact of the Strike

The strike affects everybody in the industry. Those who can have donated millions to support the strike, so that money is available to those who need it. Nobody wants the strike to continue, but actors and writers clearly feel their grievances are worthy of being addressed. Some smaller studios apparently agree.

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